04 Feb Ghost Gear and Entanglement

What is the Net Effect?

The Net Effect is an international campaign created by the World Cetacean Alliance.


An ocean free of ghost fishing gear. A world where entanglement of marine wildlife is reduced and end of life gear is valued by fishers, recyclers and consumers.


The WCA will inspire and encourage the recycling of end of life gear that highlights the impact of entanglement on marine wildlife by:

1. CREATING a market for fishers, recyclers and consumers.
2. REDUCING the need to dispose of unwanted fishing gear.
3. PROVIDING  a value for a previously worthless product.
4. PROMOTING the removal of lost gear from beaches and the sea.

In July 2016, eight interns gathered at the World Cetacean Alliance’s headquarters in Brighton, UK and worked intensively on giving the campaign more momentum. Spending the first month of the internship creating educational resources/tools (to be shared with WCA partners and campaign pledgers) and carrying out public events to raise awareness and funds.

After the initial one-month training period the interns will be travelling across the globe and working with WCA Responsible Whale Watch Tour Operator Partners in Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa for up to three months. During the placement, interns will be raising public awareness and encouraging action through direct contact with upto one hundred thousand people across four different continents.

The problem

There is a ghost net crisis in our oceans. Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been accidentally or even deliberately left or lost at sea. These nets can entangle fish, dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sharks, and other marine life. The nets restrict movement, cause starvation, and suffocate animals that need to return to the surface to breathe. They kill over 100,000 marine mammals and countless other wildlife every year.

Our work

The WCA is working as part of a larger coalition of organisations working to reduce the impact of ghost nets on marine wildlife. The WCA is running the ‘Net Effect’ campaign and is part of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and currently chairs the ‘Build Evidence’ Working Group http://www.ghostgear.org/.

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